URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — ISYM, or Illinois Summer Youth Music, hosted a hip-hop night on Wednesday for people in the community, along with University of Illinois students, to raise awareness about black culture.
Everyone was invited to celebrate. It’s part of a bigger effort to continue the conversation of social injustice in communities across the country. Members of the Boys and Girls Club were there and neighbors also participated in an open mic night.
U of I professor Lamont Holden said it was about giving everyone an opportunity to come together and have fun.
“Access, right? When you talk about social injustice, when you talk about racism, when you talk about systematic injustice, it starts with access,” Holden said. “To let the community know you don’t have to be a student here, you don’t have to be a faculty here to access these resources.”
U of I student Hadley Weaver Rivera attended the event and also weighed in on what happens in different communities.
“People, and I’m guilty of this, think ‘Oh that would never happen in our community,'” Weaver Rivera said. “But it happens everywhere, even in a great community such as Champaign.”
ISYM Hip-Hop will continue hosting events in the future at schools and in the community. Group leaders said they’re always looking for more staff members to help.